As a reporter covering Maryland football, you begin to feel you're asking the same questions after each game these days.  You ask about the effort, about the tackling, the receiver drops, the slow starts.

The bottom line is that the Terps often look outmanned, particularly against a solid team like Notre Dame, which may be headed to the Champs Sports Bowl. The Terps went to that bowl game in Florida in 2006. Remember?

Maryland's last interesting game was nearly a month ago against Clemson. The Terps lost, 56-45.

Since then, Maryland has scored 16, 17, 13 and  -- tonight -- 21 points.

“It was like we just gave up,” said linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield, who had 13 tackles. Hartsfield later seemed to amend his remark, saying: “I don’t want to say give up, we just weren’t executing like we should.”

You might think it was a case of Maryland, which lacks depth, getting worn down. But for some reason the Terps seem to start particularly slowly. They've been behind entering the second quarter in the past four games and trailed the Irish 10-0 tonight.

Some random notes:

*Rough end of the season for Danny O'Brien. Randy Edsall had been rotating his quarterbacks in recent games but had stuck with O'Brien against Notre Dame until the quarterback broke a bone in his upper left arm in the third quarter.By the way, O'Brien's father, Matt, who was at the game, attended Notre Dame. But of course he was rooting for his son and the rest of the Terps. Sadly, O'Brien's last throw of the season was a pick six.

*Seldom-used D.J. Adams got significant playing time and rushed 16 times for 56 yards. Edsall was asked about the running back afterward.    

"I thought he did some productive things.  Again, just something that ¿¿ we had a couple of other guys that were banged up during the week so that's why he got an opportunity. He did well with his opportunity," the coach said.

*Players can't help but think back to the 2-10 season of 2009. "We don't want to go back to that," quarterback C.J. Brown said.